Daily Vegan Lunch for 31 December, 2013: Eggplant Parmesan

It’s the last Daily Vegan Lunch!  No. 365!!

vegan eggplant parmesan IMG_3932
This recipe uses a modified version of tofu parmesan from Jo Stephaniak’s Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, which I highly recommend.

“Normal” eggplant parmagiana at Olive Garden is 850 calories per serving, which is fairly staggering. It gets worse because there are 35 grams of fat in that serving, the majority of which are coming from carcinogenic cheese!  Now we see the reason vegans are an average of 40 pounds lighter than everyone else.

This recipe only gets fat from tahini (sesame seed butter) and from greasing the pan for the crunchy eggplant cutlets, which you don’t technically need to do.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium sized eggplant, cut into slices

1 tablespoon egg replacer plus 1/4 cup water OR 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 1/2 cup of water.  If using flaxseed meal, blend it in the food processor for a smoother consistency.

1.5 cups breadcrumbs or panko
1 tablespoon fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste

FOR THE PARMESAN:

1/2 cup onion, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch
1 cup firm tofu
2 tablespoons tahini or cashew butter
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Mix the egg replacer or flaxseed meal with water, set aside in a small bowl.

Mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, herbs, and salt and spread the mixture on a plate.

Cut the eggplant into 3/4 inch slices and coat first in egg-replacer or flaxseed wash, then coat with breadcrumbs as thickly as possible.

Lay the cutlets on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the parmesan sauce.  Combine onions, arrowroot, tofu, tahini, nutritional yeast, water, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until liquified and completely smooth.

Transfer the liquid to a small pan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened, 3 – 5 minutes.

Take the eggplant cutlets out of the oven, flip them over, and spoon thickened parmesan on them.  Put them back into the oven for about 10 more minutes.

Serve with cooked spaghetti and marinara sauce.

My husband said he really liked these.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 29 December, 2013: Mini Meatball Barley Italian Wedding Soup

vegan mini meatball soup vegan mini meatball soup
The fresh wheat bread with was made by my friend Yoshie from the natto post.  It was delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons oil
5 cloves garlic
2 cups onion, chopped
1.5 cups celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
1/4 cup vegan baco bits
3/4 cup tomato paste OR 1 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon basil
1 cup pearl barley
Up to 1 tablespoon of salt or to taste
1/2 package of Gimme Lean refrigerated vegan sausage, rolled into balls

DIRECTIONS:

In a very large stockpot on medium heat, fry garlic and onion in 2 tablespoons of oil until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add carrots, baco bits, sage, basil, and celery and allow it to stir-fry for about 5 minutes more.  Add ten cups of water.  Turn heat to high.  Bring the soup to a boil and then turn heat to medium-high, allowing it to simmer at a low boil for 20 – 30 minutes or until the largest piece of carrot is fork tender.

Stir in the cup of pearl barley.  It should take about 20 – 30 minutes to cook.

Meanwhile, roll Gimme Lean into balls and fry them at medium-high heat in a pan in a small amount of oil or in a tablespoon of water until they are brown.  You can also use purchased frozen veggie meatballs, cut up veggie sausage, or a can (do not fry) of rinsed, cooked beans such as navy beans or kidney beans.

Stir in the tomato paste or sauce.

You might have noticed at this point that this soup does not use broth.  When you consider that all vegetable broth is pretty much the strained water from boiling vegetables a long time, you can see why I didn’t worry about using actual broth.  Add salt, little by little, until the soup tastes good, up to a tablespoon.

Add the fried meatballs or unfried beans to the soup.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 6 December, 2013: Polenta with Broccoli and Spinach Mix

vegan polenta broccoli and spinach

IMG_3799

BROCCOLI SPINACH MIX INGREDIENTS:

1.5 cups broccoli florets
1 cup frozen spinach
1.5 cups onions
2 teaspoons oil
1.5 cups vegetable boullion
1/2 cup roasted red pepper (I used some from a jar) chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
3 cloves garlic, minced or about one tablespoon

POLENTA INGREDIENTS:

1 cup cornmeal or polenta
About 3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup plant milk, I used almond OR one additional cup of broth or water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
2 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste

Mix cornmeal, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder in a bowl. Bring the 3 cups of vegetable broth to a boil and immediately turn heat to low-medium. Add the cornmeal mixture and the oil to the pot and stir. Add almond milk until the texture resembles thick porridge. Add salt to taste. Cover and take polenta off heat.

In a large frying pan, cook onion in oil on medium-high heat until it is translucent. Add garlic, cook 30 seconds more. Add broccoli florets and spinach plus 2 tablespoons of broth or water. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Allow to steam about a minute and a half. Stir in roasted pepper. Mix the cornstarch or arrowroot with the remaining broth. Pour the broth into the pan and stir until thickened.

Serve the broccoli-spinach mix over the polenta.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 29 November, 2013: Angel Hair Pasta with Peas, Spinach, and Pine Nuts

vegan angel hair pasta with peas, spinach, and pine nuts

IMG_3764

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup olive oil
6 cups cooked angel hair pasta or about half a box
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen spinach
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
liberal black pepper
1/2 cup pine nuts

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare pasta according to package directions, cover and set aside.

Dry roast the pine nuts in a shallow pan by spreading them out in the pan and turning the stove’s heat to medium. In about 5 minutes, the pine nuts will become fragrant. Stir them around and roast about 1 more minute. Take them off the heat and set aside.

Defrost the spinach and the peas in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little water, drain if necessary. Fry the garlic in 1 teaspoon of the oil on medium heat in a shallow pan. Add the defrosted spinach, and peas to the pan.

Put the spinach mixture in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add the noodles, pine nuts, and remaining oil to the noodles and vegetables. Pour or squeeze the lemon juice on the noodles and add the pepper. Mix well and taste test. If it needs salt, add that and remix.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 3 November, 2013: Spicy Tomato Alfredo Penne with Chard

creamy tomato sauce penne

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups cooked penne, ziti, or farfalle pasta

4 cups chard, shredded

Sauce

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup soaked cashews OR if you do not have a great blender, 3/4 cup cashew butter
1 tomato or 1.5 cups chopped tomato
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon hot sauce or to taste
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup of water

The sauce ingredients in the blender:

IMG_3634

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta to al dente, drain and set aside. Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. In a pan, stir-fry the chard on medium heat in a little oil or water until it wilts, about one to two minutes. Mix chard, cooked pasta, and creamy sauce. I used a lovely chard called “rainbow chard” that was deep, lush green with red stems.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 27 October, 2013: White Bean Hummus and Roasted Vegetable Pizza

I could have used store-bought hummus, I suppose. It can get expensive though as this recipe calls for 2 cups of the stuff. Considering how cheap beans are, you are better off making your own hummus, at least where this recipe is concerned.

I’m sure this would be just as good with chickpea hummus.

vegan white bean hummus and roasted veggie pizza

INGREDIENTS:

1 store bought pizza crust or pre-cooked pizza crust
1 eggplant
1 sweet red bell pepper
1 zucchini

HUMMUS INGREDIENTS:

2 cups cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 a lemon’s juice (about 2 tablespoons)
Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Cut the eggplant into small chunks, the red pepper into slices (discard the seed and the stem/core), and slice the zucchini. There is no need to skin the zucchini or the eggplant. Roast the vegetables on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Combine all hummus ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Spread the hummus on the pizza crusts and evenly top with roasted vegetables. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 26 October, 2013: White Bean and Spinach Pizza

vegan white bean spinach pizza

INGREDIENTS:

1 store bought pizza crust or pre-cooked pizza crust (alternately you can use tortillas or pitas as I often do)
2 cups cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups spinach leaves

2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes and their water or oil
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake pizza crust by itself for 5 minutes (this is for an extra crunchy crust, you can omit this step if you like softer crust). Mix salt, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, vegan mayonnaise, and olive oil in a bowl, stir well. Spread the crust with the tomato/mayo/garlic/olive oil mixture. Evenly top the pizza with white beans and spinach leaves. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.